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Business Solutions: Travel Trade Update

Posted by Tourism NI

Published December 7, 2020

Tourism NI’s Business Solutions team have been working hard to provide the tourism industry in Northern Ireland with opportunities to engage with overseas operators keeping NI front of mind. The team are working to continue this into 2021 with so much more global trade activity planned including preparation for our next flagship Meet The Buyer 2021 event.

EAGS Hybrid Webinars

Following on from a series of webinars organized by Tourism Ireland around the reopening of Accomodation providers and Attractions across the island of Ireland, Tourism NI had the opportunity to showcase Embrace a Giant Spirit in an innovative way through Live Hybrid webinars.

The event at ICC Belfast featured a variety of attractions and experiences spread right across Northern Ireland and provided an insightful Q&A session following. The webinars featured the following industry partners:

  • Beyond The Bridge
  • Island Discovery
  • Glenshane Country Farm
  • Unlocking The Walled City
  • Sheans Horse Farm
  • Giant Tours Ireland


To conclude the hybrid event, the cameras left the ICC studios to the setting of Belfast’s River Lagan at the Big Fish where Belfast Traditional Music Trail played out with a performance to the 192 viewing international operators.

World Travel Market

World Travel Market, traditionally the largest B2B event in the global travel and tourism calendar, took place as an online event for the first time ever – called World Travel Market Virtual (WTM Virtual). Tourism companies from the island of Ireland joined Tourism Ireland on its virtual stand for the three-day event, meeting and carrying out business with key travel professionals from around the world.

Tourism NI was joined by 39 key industry partners in what was a great opportunity for the Business Solutions and local industry to keep Northern Ireland front of mind for 2021 and beyond.


In early November, Northern Ireland industry were involved in the DirecTravel Show, a Virtual B to B and B to C platform. This was an opportunity for the industry to test the appetite for Ireland among French agents in 2021. In particular, agents who have programmed long haul and consider Ireland as a closer/safer destination for their clients in 2021.This was an excellent opportunity to keep Northern Ireland front of mind with one of our key markets and is the only show being promoted to national tour operators this year.

We were pleased to have Tour Guides Donna Fox and Mairead Sweeney supporting in providing presentations of Northern Ireland’s attractions, experiences and insight into itineraries. Tracey Jeffery was also on hand with a live cookery demo on the platform – what better way to give a flavour of what can be sampled at Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen; the proof was virtually in the pudding!

Flavours ‘20

Flavours of Ireland is an annual B2B event and is the highlight in the GB & Ireland Inbound calendar, attracting over 100 buyers from more than 60 companies who buy Ireland product and distribute it via global sales networks. This year due to the ongoing situation with Covid-19, Flavours of Ireland was hosted as an online event called “Flavours 20” delivering an experience into the homes of buyers.

Tourism Northern Ireland’s Business Solutions Team were pleased to participate in this virtual Business to Business workshop with a range of appointments with key buyers and were also joined by 28 NI industry partners in what proved to be an important event for this key market.

Ireland Webinar with CEAV

Last week, we were pleased to have Jessica Barreda from Tour Guides NI join Tourism Ireland in a webinar with CEAV, a travel agency association. The purpose of the webinar was to educate the agencies and inspire them that the island of Ireland is well positioned when we travel again. Most of the interest was for FIT so Jessica was able to provide insight into local experiences and ideas for itineraries using her vast experience working with visiting Spanish groups. 

ETOA – Global European Marketplace

On 30th October, Tourism Northern Ireland’s Business Solution Team were engaged in a full day of 45 appointments with global tour operators and travel buyers at the Global European Marketplace - one of the most influential contracting events of the year. Over 800 attendees from member companies attended the event.

BeNe Sales Mission

In conjunction with our Tourism Ireland colleagues in Belgium and the Netherlands, the Business Solutions team recently undertook a targeted sales mission in BeNe. A series of sales webinars were arranged for 6 prolific Belgian and Dutch operators. The content was tailored to meet the requirements of the operator’s target clientele. Each webinar included an overview on the experience brand “Northern Ireland – Embrace a Giant Spirit” and featured presentations by 12 NI accommodation and experience providers.

Avanti webinar

The Business Solutions team recently delivered a destination overview and introduction to our experience brand “Embrace a Giant Spirit” to the sales and product team of US tour operator Avanti Destinations. A number of local industry also joined the webinar, based on the requirements outlined by the operator. Avanti Destinations works exclusively on the B2B market selling to USA Travel Agents. They are members of the largest Travel Consortia in the USA and put together custom FIT and Group products.

North America Expo

Tourism Northern Ireland in partnership with Tourism Ireland US and Canada recently arranged a virtual two day B2B Expo event on the 18th and 19th November 2020. This North America Expo provided a platform, which allowed NI industry to meet and engage with with key FIT, luxury, consortia and group agents across North America (US & Canada) interested in programming the Island of Ireland. The two-day virtual workshop offered an excellent opportunity for industry partners to maximize their exposure in both markets, with attendance in the region of 1,500+ agents per day. A range of NI industry participated in a series of 1:1 virtual appointments and entertainment showcasing Northern Ireland.

Italian EAGS Webinar

The Business Solutions team supported Tourism Ireland in presenting the Embrace a Giant Spirit brand and giving an up to date destination overview to key Italian tour operator’s product. Operators were then taken on a virtual tour where they listened and saw footage of 6 suited experiences for their market. This was followed by an engaging Q&A session, which covered a range of topics which ensured that Northern Ireland was kept front of mind for future itinerary planning.  

Posted by Tourism NI

Produced by Tourism NI